One of the best ways for people in food deserts* to access healthy food is through producing their own, but one of the first issues that pops up is when they find themselves without the means to do that. One of the most effective ways that the Obama Legacy Initiative has been combating this issue is through the provision of raised garden beds.
Raised garden beds have made food production easier for professional and amateur gardeners alike, with benefits including but not limited to less weeds, better drainage, and warmer soil. They come with a variety of options for sizing and customization, allowing residents to tailor their raised beds to their specific needs and/or decorate them to represent their preferred creative ideas. By providing both independence and freedom of expression, raised bed gardening provides residents with the ability to create real change in their lives and communities, tailored to whatever needs they require and whatever wants they desire.
A sizeable percentage of the distribution for these garden beds through OLI has been through fundraisers and sales. Such examples included the auction of raised beds through the Victory over Hunger event to raise money for disadvantaged communities as well as raised beds donated during OLI’s Gold Star event to honor the families of veterans who gave their lives in service. Likewise, OLI has helped produce raised beds decorated by local artists to raise money and awareness for the issue of food insecurity.
Raised beds also inhibit one of the most dangerous offshoots of poverty - malnutrition. By facilitating access to easy food, raised bed gardening provides valuable ammunition with which to counter this issue. Through its twin aims of distributing raised beds and enabling raised bed gardening across our communities, the Obama Legacy Initiative hopes to enact lasting change in the lives of those who need it most, ushering in a healthier vision for the future for everyone.